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Blog - July 03, 2015

 Salmigondis : The Perfect Place for a Terrasse Meal

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Salmigondis : The Perfect Place for a Terrasse Meal
Montreal starts to look very pretty when restaurants set up their terrasses and meals can be enjoyed al fresco.  My friend Henri and I met at Salmigondis, a small bistro situated in Little Italy, and the weather was warm enough for us to be able to choose a table outside.  The terrasse is secluded and comfortable, and situated on a quiet street.  I ordered from the cocktail menu, and Henri asked for an alcohol-free beer, but the restaurant does not carry any. We were both hungry, so we ordered almost immediately.  The menu offers an interesting choice of entrées, and we...

Blog - July 03, 2015

 Salmigondis : The Perfect Place for a Terrasse Meal

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Salmigondis : The Perfect Place for a Terrasse Meal
Montreal starts to look very pretty when restaurants set up their terrasses and meals can be enjoyed al fresco.  My friend Henri and I met at Salmigondis, a small bistro situated in Little Italy, and the weather was warm enough for us to be able to choose a table outside.  The terrasse is secluded and comfortable, and situated on a quiet street.  I ordered from the cocktail menu, and Henri asked for an alcohol-free beer, but the restaurant does not carry any. We were both hungry, so we ordered almost immediately.  The menu offers an interesting choice of entrées, and we...

Blog - June 12, 2015

 Jatoba: It Deserves All the Praise !

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Jatoba: It Deserves All the Praise !
My friend and I planned to visit some art galleries at the Belgo building, and to follow with a meal at Jatoba.  It turns out we were able to appreciate artistic creations in both places.  This is a busy happening restaurant, and it is imperative to reserve in advance.  I called the day before and I was lucky enough to be able to book two places at the bar.  As it turned out, this was a comfortable seating choice, and we had a great view on the meticulous artistic food creation, which was quite entertaining.  The space, ambiance and mostly the staff will...

Blog - June 04, 2015

 El Escondite : A Refreshing New Mexican Restaurant Downtown

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: El Escondite : A Refreshing New Mexican Restaurant Downtown
My son has travelled extensively in Mexico, and this is why El Escondite seemed a fitting venue to celebrate his birthday.  From the outside, the restaurant seems to be made to look like a lucha libre establisment, with a large vintage-style marquee announcing it as a « Taqueria ».  The decor inside is funky and funny.  There are humorous references to lucha libre and Frida Kahlo, and other Mexican iconography that decorate the walls.  The decor is otherwise hipster-industrial and the accompanying music fits right in.  Our very friendly waitress Alicia told us that although the restaurant had only been open for...

Blog - May 21, 2015

 Junior: Hearty Filipino Cuisine

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Junior: Hearty Filipino Cuisine
My son and I walked into Junior’s, and were welcomed by a large and loud flat screen tv showing the hockey game. I understand the excitement of the Stanley cup tournament, but I was hoping to have a conversation with my dining partner without having to yell. After our main dishes were served, we finally asked if they could turn down the volume, and they did so happily, which made us think that we should have asked earlier. The restaurant space is vibrant and trendy : colourful tables and chairs, a hipster-ethnic decor, and well, that...

Blog - May 21, 2015

 La Cervoise : Another Reason to Dine in Homa

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: La Cervoise : Another Reason to Dine in Homa
Josée and I are both Homa residents, and we realized, when we found La Cervoise, that we must have walked past the restaurant many times, and had never noticed it. What a discovery this place turned out to be for us. First and foremost, a most charming waiter, Benoit, who was both efficient and personable, welcomed us. He truly added to the quality of our meal. The menu at La Cervoise has plenty of mouth-watering items. To start, we asked for a pitcher of cider, because most items have that bistro-pub personality. We then ordered the warm...

Blog - April 22, 2015

 Le Topinambour Is Not a Well Kept Secret in Joliette

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Le Topinambour Is Not a Well Kept Secret in Joliette
My son and I found ourselves in Joliette at dinner time, and after looking around for a place to eat, we ended up at this quaint little restaurant. Although it only had another pair of diners when we walked in rather early at six, it slowly welcomed more guests as the evening progressed. The restaurant, which has been open for four years, offers authentic Marocan dishes, thanks to the Marocan owner and his hostessing wife. My son and I ordered a marinated carrot salad ($4) which was well spiced, and came with eggplant as well. There was no...

Blog - April 22, 2015

 Pizzeria Nolana : This Is the Pizzeria to go to in Montreal!

Posted by Admin 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Pizzeria Nolana : This Is the Pizzeria to go to in Montreal!
You know you are in popular restaurant when you arrive there for dinner on a Tuesday, and there are no free tables by 7 pm! Pizzeria Nolana has been open 12 weeks, and the word must have gotten around because it was hopping-busy. The restaurant is long and narrow, with plate glass windows its whole length, and an industrial-bistro look. My friend had arrived before me and I joined her for a glass of red wine. From the cold entrées menu, we chose the Merluzzo ($14), a cod, fagiollini, canellini, basilic and lemon salad. The beans...

Blog - March 30, 2015

 Indonesian Nonya Restaurant Tries Out a New Vegan-Friendly Menu

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Indonesian Nonya Restaurant Tries Out a New Vegan-Friendly Menu
Nonya has been at its Mile end Bernard st. location for a while now. The restaurant occupies a large interior space, which is split into two rooms. If you call to reserve, ask for the cozy windowseat table at the back. In the summer, there is a sizeable terrace as well. Nonya is boasting an extensive new menu, with many vegan choices to be had. As it stands, you could have many food options for many meals without eating the same thing twice. We started off by ordering a beer and a glass of white...

Blog - March 17, 2015

 Le Léman Offers Solid and Authentic Swiss Fare

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Le Léman Offers Solid and Authentic Swiss Fare
Brand new to the dining scene is Le Léman, a Swiss-themed restaurant right downtown on University St. When we walked in the staff warmly welcomed us. The owner, who is friendly and personable, will add to the enjoyment of your meal as he explains the origins of a given dish or its ingredients. The decor is both modern and traditional. There is a huge mural of the owner’s vinery lands on LacLéman which covers one wall, while retro aviation ads from the owner’s past as an airline executive decorate the other walls. The placemats are adorable. Ask about the lighting...

Blog - February 25, 2015

 Le Comptoir Serves Up Sophisticated Dishes

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Le Comptoir Serves Up Sophisticated Dishes
Friends had told us about Le Comptoir and how they had become regulars there. They spoke of original menu choices and a special ambiance. Curious, we dropped by on a Thursday night, and we were welcomed by a smiling staff, and although they were busy , we were offered seats at the counter. The decor is simple industrial with a great open kitchen, giving us a good view on the action.   We ordered the beet salad entrée ($9) and the braised octopus ($18). Both dishes were a clear sign that there is a creative and...

Blog - February 17, 2015

 A Warm Cozy Meal at Les Cocottes

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: A Warm Cozy Meal at Les Cocottes
It takes a dedicated restaurant blogger to brave the kind of cold we have been feeling in Montreal these days in order to go out there and try a new restaurant venue. We came into a cozy space, with wall-length benches, and a comfortable couch facing the window, where I had already planned we would have our dessert later. The menu is simple enough, with a choice of appetizers to share, a selection of cocottes, which are single serving cast iron pots. There are also some side dishes to accompany the cocottes.  We started with a couple of cocktails. For Henri,...

Blog - February 03, 2015

 Sushi Momo: Itty Bitty Sushi Restaurant Packs a Punch!

Posted by Admin 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Sushi Momo: Itty Bitty Sushi Restaurant Packs a Punch!
We were lucky enough to get last of five available tables in this tiny cozy sushi restaurant situated on Duluth avenue almost at the corner of St Laurent Boulevard.  They had only been open nine days, and although there was a bit of a wait between plates coming in, things seemed to be operating smoothly.  The important elements were in place: a welcoming bilingual staff, a varied menu, and a cozy atmosphere.  I have to warn potential diners that if they plan on staying in as opposed to ordering takeout, they might want to call and find out if there...

Blog - December 18, 2014

 La Grenade: Nothing to Write Home About

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: La Grenade: Nothing to Write Home About
We decided to check out La Grenade, a restaurant which opened at the end of summer, and is situated in what used to be a brasserie on Ontario street. The space has been cleverly refurbished, and is inviting and comfortable. In fact, if I lived in the area, this would be the bar I would want to drop in on regularly for a beer and a bite to eat. The menu items are street-food style or Asian, and quite reasonably priced. We started by ordering a Lemon Bliss cocktail for me ($8.75), a mixture of gin and lemon...

Blog - December 11, 2014

 Le Cartel Restaurant: Mexican, Peruvian and Asian Flavours to Savour

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Le Cartel Restaurant: Mexican, Peruvian and Asian Flavours to Savour
We were given a table by the window at Le Cartel, and on this Saturday night the place was quite bus. The decor here is simple yet cozy, wood tables, reddish and black walls, and a stunning original tin ceiling. The menu offers original transformations of Peruvian or Asian dishes, with a Montreal food truck approach. We began by ordering cocktails, a Botanical Caesar ($9) for my friend, and a MFG (made with Aquavit) ($9) for me. I like bitter cocktails, and mine was just that. I let Henri do most of the ordering, and perhaps I might ask for veto rights...

Blog - December 05, 2014

 Craving delicious grilled seafood? Brasseiro is the place to go!

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Craving delicious grilled seafood? Brasseiro is the place to go!
I was lucky enough to be taken on a date to Braseiro, a Portuguese Grill on St-Laurent Boulevard. I had to agree with my date that the octopus was surely amongst the best in the city. The waiting staff is exceptional at this place, with very attentive and personalized service. The place was very busy on the Saturday night we went, so be sure to reserve in advance! Brasseiro, 8261 boul. St-Laurent, (514) 389-0606...

Blog - November 27, 2014

 Vin Papillon Deserves its Excellent Reputation

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Vin Papillon Deserves its Excellent Reputation
Vin Papillon has an established reputation on the Montreal restaurant scene, having garnered positive reviews from EnRoute, and Lesley Chesterman of the Gazette, to name a couple. It is a small intimate space with limited seating and no reservations accepted, and although you might have to wait for a table, it will be well worth it. We arrived fairly early for dinner, and were given one of two last tables available. We took a picture of the three menus up on the wall -one for the food options, and two for the wine offerings- and sat down to consult them and...

Blog - November 13, 2014

 A Work in Progress? Industria Brasserie Italienne

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: A Work in Progress? Industria Brasserie Italienne
I invited my friend and his teenaged daughter to try out Industria Brasserie Italienne, a recently opened restaurant in Griffintown.  The actual entrance is not the easiest to find, since the restaurant is a floor up from street level, and on the side of the building. Once you find it, though, an impressive space awaits you: a mix of industrial loft decor with modern plastic sculptured ceiling hangings and neat lighting fixtures.  The space is huge, with different seating options that range from small to large comfy upholstered booths, to bar stools and elevated tables along the windows and...

Blog - October 16, 2014

 Kyozon, A Touch of Class on Crescent

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Kyozon, A Touch of Class on Crescent
I had heard about the impressive architecture and decor, and it is absolutely true, this is a beautiful space, with many different seating, dining and drinking options. It is a great downtown venue: it has possibilities for those who just finished shopping and need a quick snack and a place to relax or for after-work get-togethers or even a spectacular setting for a first date (ask for a more private lounge space). This place just lends itself to all these options, and the differing menus add variety as well. My friend and I had meant to arrive in time...

Blog - September 23, 2014

 House of Jazz Will Please Jazz Music Lovers!

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: House of Jazz Will Please Jazz Music Lovers!
The decor for House of Jazz Laval is just as impressive as the Montreal House of Jazz location. An amazing assortment of chandeliers cover the whole ceiling, Persian carpets and plenty of pretty trinkets give the place a lush atmosphere. The waiting staff is wonderfully dressed in 1920s garb, and the live music has talent. It is a pity that the food served does not match the luxurious setting, but the place is fairly new, and there is the hope that some improvements will be made as the restaurant...

Blog - September 15, 2014

 La Salamandre is worth a visit!

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: La Salamandre is worth a visit!
We quickly realized, as we started enjoying the food at Le Salamandre, that the space, which is quite small, and sparsely decorated, gave us no clue as to the amazing dishes that are prepared here. There is an experienced chef in the kitchen who is both skilled and inventive, and we enjoyed the meal completely. The restaurant has a "petite table" or a "table gourmande" option. The first option includes a soup or salad, a main dish at a fixed price, tea or coffee. Entrées ($10) and desserts ($7) are...

Blog - September 04, 2014

 Sophisticated seaside snack shack

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Sophisticated seaside snack shack
Henri St-Henri is situated in the well-established restaurant area on Notre-Dame st. in the St-Henri neighborhood. It has an outdoor terrace on the street side. The décor is industrial and somewhat whimsical, with high ceilings, distressed wood, steel elements, a plastic swordfish watching over the diners and a funky lighting installation. The choice of music for the space was a lounge beat that would have been more appropriate for happy hour and was less conducive to flowing dinner conversation. The balmy evening inspired us to order cocktails, the Key Lime Harbour ($9) for my friend and the Port Orange ($10) for...

Blog - August 06, 2014

 You will want to come back to Le Billot!

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: You will want to come back to Le Billot!
The Billot, on the Plateau, is a new addition to Duluth street just east of St-Denis. The Billot has all of the elements needed to make it a success: a well designed, good-sized indoor space, as well as a quiet terrace at the back, which is a perfect place for a Montreal summer meal. The hosts and the waiters were charming and attentive, and they made sure our meal went well from beginning to end. The decisive element to the success of any restaurant is, of course, a solid and knowledgeable chef. The Billot has just the person,...

Blog - July 22, 2014

 Callao: the best ceviche in Montreal

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Callao: the best ceviche in Montreal
After catching a show at the Just for Laughs Festival, my friend and I headed up to Callao, a Peruvian restaurant on Laurier street which opened in June. We had read some good reviews of the food, prepared by Chef Mario Navarrete Jr., and we were eager to try it out. We explained to our very attentive waiter that we were planning to mostly eat the fish and seafood on offer, and he recommended that we order a bottle of the Californian Fess Parkay Chardonnay ($37). We began with an entrée each. My friend ordered the Papas a la huancaina ($7) which,...

Blog - July 11, 2014

 Cinko: Eat to your heart’s content at $5 a dish!

Posted by  Anne McDougall 
in Restaurant Review
Blog: Cinko: Eat to your heart’s content at $5 a dish!
Since we were heading for the Place des Spectacles to catch the free Diana Krall show at the Jazz Festival (I love Montreal in the summer!), my friend and I decided to catch dinner in the Latin Quarter, at Cinko, a new restaurant that opened on St-Denis street. The formula they present certainly made us curious: all dishes offered on the menu are five dollars! The restaurant is situated in such a way that it has a long terrace running along its side, which makes for lots of outdoor seating. Our friendly waiter gave us our food and drinks...